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Wrecked boaties lucky to be alive after being unable to call for help

by Maritime NZ on 2 Sep 2017
The crew are airlifted from Cape Jackson in the Marlborough Sounds where they were stranded after their 10 metre launch struck rocks. Image - Garden City Helicopters SW
Two very lucky boaties have been rescued from Cape Jackson in the Marlborough Sounds where they were stranded after their 10 metre launch was wrecked on rocks.

The wet and cold pair had been stranded on the rocks for eleven hours with no way to call for help. Their lifejackets were found on the beach.

A passing boat saw the men and raised the alarm with Maritime Operations Centre (MOC, maritime radio) who passed it to Rescue Coordination Centre NZ this morning at 10.45 am.

RCCNZ tasked Garden City Helicopters, Nelson who ended the pair’s ordeal, plucking them from the rocks. The rescued men are now being checked at Blenheim Hospital.

“They’ve escaped with their lives. The boat was smashed to bits,” says Senior Search and Rescue Officer Mike Roberts.

“These men ignored the safety basics. Learn from their example, if you’re heading out on the water. Take two waterproof ways to communicate - preferably a marine VHF radio and a distress beacon and wear your lifejacket. Know your limitations and those of your vessel.

“Always tell somebody ashore where and when you’re going, and when you expect to be back.

“You've got to be prepared for emergencies. Everyone on board a boat less than 6 metres should wear a lifejacket at all times. Most accidents occur suddenly, with no warning,” Mike says.

“There may be no time to grab a lifejacket, and it’s extremely difficult to put on a lifejacket in the water. Many boaties drown less than 200 metres from shore.”
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